Following the stranded over 150 Mega Watts (MW) in Kainji and Jebba Hydro Power Plants, the operator Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited (MESL), is currently incurring excess of N900 million monthly.
The Executive Director, Siraj Abdullahi, disclosed this to reporters that were in Kainji plant, Kainji in Niger State, to get first hand information on the stranded power issue.
He said that ”On an average we loses N900million every month as a result of power that we have that is ready to go to the grid and it is not taken either by ram down or by high grid frequency. There are worse months we lose over a billion.”
Due to the losses, the company has planned to sell its stranded power to some local and international eligible customers.
Abdullahi, however, noted that the only snag that is delaying the company from vending its electricity directly to the consumers through the eligible customers policy is the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
According to him, the commission that has been sitting on the customers and generation companies’ applications for the operation of the eligible customer policy, has not formally approved any application for eligible customer operation.
His words: “They (NERC) have been putting a lot of impediments on the eligible customer policy. Our customers have applied, we have applied, we have given all necessary documentations. But till today, they (NERC) have not given anybody any formal approval. So, I am not sure they are helping us, as much as they should be helping us.”
He admitted that the company has been through the arrangement of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) shopping for eligible customers for the stranded power from neighbouring countries of Niger, Bukina Faso, and Benin Republic.
In preparation for the supply of power for the international customers, the MESL has opened idle pits in the plants to install two turbines that produce 120mw each for onward transmission to the West coast.
Abdullahi noted that “that is why we are full members of WAPP. We want to plan to see if we can get to Niger, Bukina Faso, and beyond.
Continuing, he said that “We are working on another unit one G9 that will give us 80mw. We have started decoupling one G7 that will give us another 100mw. We are doing two G6 in Jebba for 96mw. Even for the local market we are rapping up. This year we are going to start two G6 in Jebba.”
According to him, there is a limit to what the company can sell to the eligible customers because the commission does not allow 100% eligible. He stressed that it will be a fantastic idea if the firm is allowed to send 250mw to eligible customer.
He disclosed that on the average on the grid, the MESL has never done 650mw, noting that “the day we did 822mw, on 16th of September, 2018, we killed a cow here to celebrate.”
Mr. Oladele Sunday, who conducted the reporters round the plants explained that the stranded power in Kainji at that moment was 34mw that was rammed down (load reduction) , noting that the case of Jebba was different as it was outright shutdown of 120mw.
Enumerating the five eligible customers of the company, he said they are Came Industries, Ilorin; Came Integrated Steel Rolling Mill; Olam Farm, Ilorin; Lord Smith Techno Nigeria Ltd in Ewekoro, Ogun State and Inland Galaxy in Aba, Abia State.
He further revealed that other Chinese companies were already requesting to become their eligible customers.
He revealed that the company has been using transmission and DisCo network to distribute power to its eligible customers. He said that “without using DisCos or TCN, we have to run a line from our facilities.”
The arrangement, according to him, is that the MESL pays wheeling charge for using their facilities.
One of the officials in charge of Business Development, Mr. Umar Aliyu, noted that for one to qualify as an eligible customer, there are customers that operate within the space of TCN’s 330 and 132 KV, those ones only need to do transmission use of system agreement.
He added that “but where an eligible customer’s prospect falls within a DisCos space, we still give him power but we have to do a distribution use of system agreement.
According The Sunday, at times, the operator releases the water from the dam because of the stranded power.